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Old 07-03-2014, 09:30 AM
malau (David)
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Hard to put a star or planet in CCD camera?

Hi All,

I am having difficulty about make the star/planet in the CCD fov (if I used the correct term). Sometimes it just really a pain to do it even I cal. my eyepiece and finder scope...

any tips or tricks I can try?

Many thanks

btw I am using EQ3-2 mount and have 2 and 5x barlow...
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2014, 09:37 AM
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Amaranthus (Barry)
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Start on as high a resolution as possible, get the planet in position, then switch to an appropriate resolution that frames the planet as you want it.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:31 PM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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I'm experimenting with using an eyepiece with a similar focal length to the ccd and eyeballing it first, then swapping the eyepiece for the ccd... but I'm sure there must be easier ways
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:46 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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If you have a finder and have it well aligned then you can use that. That should get you close enough to see it on the ccd image. Then you just move the scope slightly to frame your shot.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:35 PM
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pdalek (Patrick)
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I guess you are using the NexImage 5 - small sensor.
First you need to set up the finder. This will then get you fairly close.
Pull the camera out and look through the scope from about 1/2 - 1 arm length.
You will easily see if a bright star or planet in a bit off centre.
Align and replace camera.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:11 PM
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rogerco (Roger)
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I set up during the late afternoon. Make sure the camera is working. I use a red dot finder so I then focus on a telegraph pole that is on the horizon about two kilometres away. Then I adjust the red dot finder to point at the same spot.

If the object is far enough away it should be close enough to infinity so you then don't touch the focus until night time and you should be pretty right.

Good luck
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:59 AM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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if you are trying to do high resolution planetary imaging at long focal lengths with a small CCD, finding the object can be a real pain. Try setting the camera to relatively long integration (eg a second or two) and maximum gain and then defocus the scope enough that the star/planet images expand to be larger than the fofv, but still visible - quite often you will then be able to see part of the extended image of your target if it is bright and not too far away - easy to centre then.

Last edited by Shiraz; 08-03-2014 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:10 PM
malau (David)
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Thanks everyone. Tried (hardly.... since cloudy in Sydney) the method mentioned manage to get jupiter easier... however when I want to do EQ align2 I can never get the star in the cam even I can see jupiter in my CDD before...

btw mine is 6 inches skywatcher (150/750) and orion ccd cam...
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:36 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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If doing planetary imaging, don't bother with a star alignment - if the polar axis of the mount is fairly well aligned with the south celestial pole and you can find Jupiter OK, that's all you need. Just set the mount to siderial track and keep adjusting the dec to compensate for any slight drift due to PA and you should be able to image OK.

If the mount won't track without doing an alignment, start the one star alignment process on any star that it suggests, but push escape as soon as it starts to slew. When it exits the alignment routine it should be tracking in RA and you can then use the keypad to move the mount to Jupiter and centre it manually as above.

Last edited by Shiraz; 09-03-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:17 PM
malau (David)
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Thanks everyone. Tried all method in last 2 days when the clouds disappeared a bit..

I have problem with my CCD cannot see stars when I try to use EQ align2 program.. but showing planet is ok..

I also have issue with polar-ing my mount as my balcony is facing west. Some metal inside the concrete floor so I can only roughly can find the true south. Also I cant find the stars which is close to the equator and meridian due to the balcony upstairs...

anyone has any good tips for that too? thanks
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:38 PM
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Use Google Earth to see your building. Use the ruler tool to find the angle between the west face of the building and the true N-S line.
You should then be able to align the polar axis by placing the mount parallel to the wall and then shifting by the angle previously measured.
Get a cheap digital level to set the declination axis to suit your latitude.
Google Earth lat & lon are good enough to use as your position.
This should get you fairly close to proper alignment and is easy to do.

I agree with Ray, forget star alignment if looking at planets. Just manually guide to keep the planet in view.
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